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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Song Of The Week: Phantogram’s ‘Fall in Love’

Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from New York state. (phantogrammusic.virb.com)

Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from New York state. (phantogrammusic.virb.com)

NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins us each week to introduce us to a new song. This week it’s “Fall in Love” by New York electronic rock duo Phantogram. Thompson says Phantogram’s sound is catchy but a little bit challenging.

“The actual music is a kind of electronic pop-rock, but the electronics are fairly subtle and mixed in with lots of strings and guitars,” he told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “So what you get is a serrated edge to these big-sounding songs that still feel warm and buzzy and catchy and fun.”

Guest

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Well - and the week is still young so let's refresh our playlist with NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson. Stephen, what have you brought for us this week?

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: All right. I've got a duo from New York called Phantogram. And there's been a vibe of most likely to succeed swirling around this band for a while now. Its songs have been popping up in commercials. It's got songs on huge soundtracks like "Catching Fire" and "Pitch Perfect." And its first album for a major label comes out his month.

The actual music is a kind of electronic pop-rock. But the electronics are fairly subtle, and they're mixed in with a lot of strings and guitars. So what you get is a serrated edge to these very big-sounding songs that still feel warm and buzzy and catchy and fun. Phantogram's new album is called "Voices," and its first single has already taken off. It's called "Fall in Love."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FALL IN LOVE")

SARAH BARTHEL: (Singing) Love, it cut a hole into your eyes you couldn't see. You were the car I crashed. Now you're burning alive. Fall...

YOUNG: Well, Stephen, I'm thinking people are either going to love that serrated edge, or it's going to feel like they have their bass turned up too high, it's blowing the speaker.

(LAUGHTER)

THOMPSON: And I like that. Phantogram's songs often have an electronic hook sweeping through them, like a sample or a pulse of some kind. "Fall in Love" has that huge driving sound, that (makes sounds) that helps it accelerate and kind of crank along. And that, to me, provides a nice counterpoint for some of the quieter ingredients. The song opens with very soft strings and then bang. It's this very springy and dynamic song that absolutely jumps out of the speakers.

YOUNG: Or sounds as if you're blowing up your speakers.

(LAUGHTER)

YOUNG: "Fall in Love" by Phantogram from their new album. It's called "Voices." Let us know what you think. NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson, thanks as always.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Robin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FALL IN LOVE")

BARTHEL: (Singing) ...ate away my smile. Could it be that I fell apart?

YOUNG: Stay right there. You're listening to HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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